Philadelphia 76ers: Oh no, Denver “stole” DeAndre Jordan in free agency

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Though they don’t play in the same conference, the rivalry between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets is strong.

Each team’s fans slander the other’s superstar center with admirable consistency, for reasons both justified and maybe not so much, and when the duo face off twice yearly, it’s a marquee event worthy of an “upgrade” to ESPN or even ABC should it fall on a weekend.

And yet, through this frontcourt rivalry, the Nuggets’ front office developed a fondness for at least one center on the Sixers’ roster as, in the opening moments of free agency – literally at 6:00 pm – Shams Charania of The Athletic announced Denver’s intentions to sign DeAndre Jordan to a free agent deal.

… what? Did I read that correctly? Did Charania mean to write Andre Drummond instead, who maybe isn’t a minute zero free agent either but is at least a viable rotational player in 2022? No, I double-checked; it does, in fact, say DeAndre Jordan. Good job, the Denver Nuggets, you really stuck it to the Philadelphia 76ers on this one…

DeAndre Jordan’s subtraction is an addition for the Philadelphia 76ers.

To call DeAndre Jordan’s tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers anything but an unmitigated disaster would be putting it kindly. He finished out the season with a total plus-minus of –39, with seven of his 16 regular season appearances earning a negative grade, and somehow, he was actually worse in the postseason, as his -31 grade was the second-worst mark on the team despite only playing 31 minutes and change.

Goodness, think about that for a second; the Sixers were outscored by a point a minute when Jordan was on the court in the playoffs and almost assuredly lost at least Game 1 versus Miami because he was on the court, as his plus-minus was eight points worse than the loss margin.

Had the Sixers opted instead to fill their final roster spot with Danuel House instead of Jordan, who was also a free agent at the time, maybe Philly makes it out of the second round for the first time since the Allen Iverson era. Maybe fans know more about Paul Reed and Charles Bassey as NBA prospects, and maybe the offseason plan looks just a little bit different, but do you know what? It’s better to get it right later than not at all, and Jordan is now Denver’s problem, not Philly’s.

Next. P.J. Tucker’s sizzle matches the smoke. dark

Will the Philadelphia 76ers miss DeAndre Jordan this fall? No! The decision to sign DJ was confusing at the time and rapidly devolved into a full-on disaster made even worse by Joel Embiid’s injury versus the Toronto Raptors. The only real benefit Jordan brings to the Denver Nuggets is that his on-court struggles will make Nikola Jokic look even more impressive, which, unfortunately, didn’t help Joel Embiid’s MVP chances, but nay, I digress.